Biographical Non-Fiction posted March 2, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
It's my brother's fault.

Why I Can't Play the Piano

by Annmuma

True Family Story Contest Winner 

My family lived in a rural area, no nearby families with young children.  John, my brother, and I spent the summer days sharing unique years of growing up in an innocent time.
Our country adventures included catching flying squirrels, exploring wasp nests, watching roly-poly bugs move manure balls and many other triggers of imagination.  Sometimes, we caught large grasshoppers, made tiny harnesses for them using sewing thread and had them pull small matchboxes.  The matchbox might be occupied by an injured roly-poly or another insect on which we would perform surgery, perhaps to re-attach a leg or some such.  We first placed the injured insect into jar with rubbing alcohol soaked cotton balls as the anesthetic.  Once the insect was ‘asleep’, we operated, carefully closed the incision, and waited for the patient to awake.  It never did, but that did not prevent us from continuing to try! 

One day, I showed up at my piano lessons, having spent no time during the previous week practicing. My lack of skill and effort were immediately visible to my teacher.

“Olevia, you knew you were coming to piano class today, didn’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“How many times did you play ‘Off We Go to Music Land’ this week?”


“That was your assigned piece, Olevia,” she said with a sigh.  “You were to play it at least five times every day.  Does your mother know you are not practicing?”

“I don’t know.”

"Well, what is it you are doing instead of practicing?  Your mother is paying good money for your lessons. What do you think she is going to say when you are unable to perform your assigned recital piece?"

“My brother and I play outside, and we catch mostly bugs.  Last week, we caught a baby rabbit, but Mama said to let it go because it probably still needed its mom. And… “

Mrs. White, frustrated with my lack of remorse, interrupted me.  “Olevia, sit down.  Linda, come play for us.   Olevia, listen.  She practices.”

I squirmed through another hour of Linda playing and me wishing my ride would hurry up.  I jumped out of the car as it stopped in our driveway.  John slid off the side of the front porch and headed in my direction.

“Guess what, Olevia, I caught a mosquito hawk!  Look.”  His mason jar held high.

“Are there enough holes in the lid for it to breathe?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“Has Daddy seen it?  He will make us let it go.  It eats mosquitos.”

“I know.  Wanna find that Fee-lark* nest we saw yesterday.  Maybe there are babies now?”

“No touching or getting too close.”

“I know.”

And the adventure continued. Thoughts of piano practice faded.

Writing Prompt
Story MUST include You and a Sibling(s)
Word count 400 minimum/450 maximum
No vulgar words, profanity,
or sex/sexual terms/sexual innuendos implied or hinted
in dialogue/scenes
No satire No war stories or Dear John letters
No deathbed stories in hospital, home, or hospice care stories

True Family Story
Contest Winner


Fee-larks were the mispronounced name of Field Larks. Actually they were Meadowlarks. Both Eastern and Western Meadowlarks visited Central Louisiana. They all looked alike to me and I am not sure which ones nested in our field, but we always had a few nests there. By the time John and I were in the second and fourth grades, we had developed other friendships from school, but I treasure those years when it seemed to just be the two of us and long summer days.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2024. Annmuma All rights reserved.
Annmuma has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.